Awhile back I wrote a few words about bees. You can read my encounter here. I would like to share two quick lessons from bees.
LESSON #1) Bees sting. If you are old enough to read this, chances are you’re a victim. Remember that first bee you ticked off? Remember the buzzing dagger catapulting towards you from a striped kamikaze Hymenoptera? Remember the inflamed pulsating welt it left behind? Remember your inability to catch your breath from crying too hard? Remember grandma pulling out her home remedy book suggesting a treatment of mud, honey, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, toothpaste and a wet aspirin tablet…none of which seemed to work?
It didn’t take long for you to realize that you hated bees – rather passionately too. You warned everyone that came near a bee to get in a defensive posture, saying “Watch out, you’ll get stung!”
But, we all know bees aren’t bad. We know the war we waged against the fuzzy buzzy pollen packer was unwarranted.
“Just because you are allergic to bees doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the honey.”
Consider EVERYTHING you encounter in life as a proverbial bee. It has some pros and cons. It might buzz around your head, it might sting, and it might even bring an army after you. On the other hand, it might pollinate your plants and provide an abundant harvest. It might bring you honey. It might show you its waggle dance, and quite possibly sting that annoying dog next door. Now, whether or not you wage war on a particular “bee,” that is up to you.
LESSON #2) Bees don’t fly in a straight line. Okay, technically they do when they head back to the hive – they “beeline” home. But when they forage, they fly around in an erratic pattern that looks similar to a bathtub scribbled on by a two-year-old. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism against predators. Maybe it’s because their brains are similar in size to a housefly… (the same thing that bounces itself into your window for several hours at a time).
Looking back at my individual journal entries, I see that I’m similarly erratic in a number of areas. For example, there have been several times that I thought I knew FOR SURE what career path I wanted to follow. In no particular order, I wanted to be a Disney animator, a website developer, a journalist, an author, a nurse, a cop, a cook, an entrepreneur, a salesman, a carpenter, a rapper, an Independent Duty Corpsman, and an arborist. I have even considered jobs such as a tattoo artist or bartender (both completely incongruent with my values and beliefs). Then again, bees don’t always land on flowers. Sometimes they land on moving windshields, or get stung by a cactus. I think we can all admit to perching on a “cactus” or two throughout our lives.
THE CHALLENGE: It’s okay to meander your way through life. Try new things! Explore! Plan your life in pencil – not permanent marker. 30 years ago I had no idea that I’d be where I am today. I imagine the same will hold true 30 years from now. So just focus on gathering pollen, staying dry and getting back to the hive – i.e. Stay close to your family and serve them. And while you’re at it, try not to sting anyone…it will probably hurt you more than it will hurt them.